RumorMill™: Two Palm OS 6 Models Expected in November

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With several New Handhelds running Palm OS 5 expected in the next few months, companies aren’t talking about their plans for devices running its replacement, Palm OS 6. Still, The Inquirer is reporting that the Palm Solutions Group is planning a November release for two models running the next-generation of the Palm OS.

One of these will be a member of the Tungsten family running an Intel XScale PXA263 processor at 400 MHz. It will have 64 MB of RAM. There might also be a second new Tungsten model with 128 MB of RAM.

The other new Palm OS 6 model will be part of the Zire family and will offer a Intel PXA261 processor running at 200 Mhz and with 32MB of RAM.

In addition, the Palm SG, which is the portion of Palm Inc. that develops the hardware, will reportedly stop using the TI OMAP processors that are in the Tungsten T and Zire 71 and switch exclusively to Intel chips. Considering that the only information available on these two models is about their processors and amounts of memory, it’s possible the source of this information about them is from Intel itself.

The Inquirer is also reporting that the Palm SG is going to use ATI’s IMAGEON 3200 multimedia co-processor in its future handhelds. This offers an advanced 2D graphics engine and an MPEG/JPEG decoder.

Palm has a long habit of releasing new models in the spring and fall. In addition, company executives have said recently it intends to stick with this schedule, so the rumored November release date is about right. The big sticking point is whether Palm OS 6 will be available. PalmSource hasn’t announced exactly when Palm OS 6 will be released but its CEO said today it will be some time around the New Year. However, a rumor surfaced today that Palm OS 6 will be given to licensees in October.

Palm OS 6 will offer a long list of significant improvements, including ARM-native apps and multi-threading, and the end of some limitations that have irritated users for years, like the 16-category limit and the 4k limit on memos.

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